MMD Members of Parliament who supported UPND president Hakainde Hichilema in the 20th January 2015 presidential election will not render the same support next year but will support the party’s candidate, Lunte Member of Parliament Felix Mutati has said.
And Mr. Mutati has said former president Rupiah Banda is a ‘‘critical figure’’ in the survival of the MMD and has since appealed to party leader Dr. Nevers Mumba to reconcile with the former head of State and move the party forward.
Mr. Mutati said former president Banda had a right to political choices but for the sake of uniting and bringing back the MMD into power and political vision, he should embrace the spirit of reconciliation and love for the party.
He said there was need for the former president and Dr. Mumba to get together and deal with the current challenges in the MMD ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Mr Mutati said the problems the MMD was facing were hurting the party and must be dealt with now.
“I think going forward, while he has his political choices, being a senior member of the party, it is up to all of us including President Banda to have the spirit of reconciliation and a spirit of purpose whilst we respect his political choice.
‘‘President Banda and Dr. Mumba should get together and deal with the matter urgently,” said Mr. Mutati.
Mr. Mutati said the party needed to be reorganized. “We need to reorganize MMD, we have people like Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, Brian Chituwo, Levy Ngoma and others who supported the UPND president Mr. Hichilema.
‘‘And it is extremely important that when we made that decision as Members of Parliament we agreed that we would work with the UPND in the 20th January, 2015 elections and not to be in the UPND and that is our clear position,” said Mr. Mutati when he featured on Radio Phoenix’s ‘‘Let the people talk’’ programme.
He said all members of the MMD that supported Mr. Hichilema were still MMD and would work for the party ahead of next year’s general elections.
“So all of us are still MMD Members of Parliament. So we have not migrated to the UPND. The January election was just a mere skirmish. We need to dust up our strategy for 2016.
We cannot have the same reaction that was displayed in January 2015 because we shall be totally dead as MMD and I think we need surgery for the party, we need our people to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose and I call upon all members of the MMD to forge ahead together and unite for the purpose of serving the party,” Mr Mutati said.
Mr. Mutati said MMD members would continue to talk to UPND leader on common grounds of leadership and the agenda for Zambia.
“I want you to be extremely clear and I don’t want any misunderstanding, myself Mutati worked and supported HH and I have said very clearly that for 2016 we (MMD) need to dust up our strategy and that doesn’t mean that we shall regard him (HH) as a villain, we shall talk to him but we need to deal with issues that are affecting our party.
We need to deal with the issues that confront us as a party. And if you asked me whether I was UPND, the answer is no, I am not UPND or PF I am MMD. There is no doubt in the minds of Zambians where I stand,” Said Mr. Mutati.